Shareholders Approve Sale of Topps

Shareholders of Topps voted Wednesday to approve the sale of the company for $385.4 million to Michael Eisner’s Tornante Co. investment firm and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC.

The approval came more than six months after Topps’ board of directors reached the agreement with Eisner’s group. During that time, the $9.75-per-share offer survived a challenge in court and a competing $10.75-per-share bid from Upper Deck, which the rival card maker withdrew Aug. 21.

Topps CEO Arthur Shorin announced the deal had enough votes to pass at the end of a special meeting Wednesday. A majority of the company’s 38.76 million outstanding shares had to be cast in favor of the deal for it to be approved.

Shorin will stay on as a consultant and then retire, but it is believed most of the other Topps management will remain. Collectors aren’t likely to notice any changes in terms of how products are created or distributed.

Topps was founded as a chewing gum company in 1938 by Abram, Ira, Philip and Joseph Shorin. Current CEO Arthur Shorin is the son of Joseph.

Eisner stepped down from The Walt Disney Co. in 2005 after more than two decades as chief executive of Disney, the entertainment and media company that owns theme parks, movie studios and the ABC, Disney and ESPN television networks. Eisner founded Tornante in 2005 to invest in media and entertainment opportunities.

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